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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, December 20, 2019

Kīlauea Drama & Entertainment Network presents Amahl and the Night Visitors beginning Friday, Dec. 27 at Kīlauea 
Theatre. Above, Amahl (Anna Braun) asks questions of the Kings Melchior (Stephen Bond), Balthazar 
(Dick Hershberger), and Kaspar (Joel Kelley). See the synopsis, schedule, and ticket prices, below. Photo from KDEN
A SUSPECT HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR THE ARSON of a vacation rental in Volcano Golf & Country Club subdivision on Nov. 17. This afternoon, Hawai’i Island Police charged 32-year-old Justin Michael Bardwell with second degree arson, after he was arrested at Old Kona Airport Park.
     The vacation rental was broken into, vandalized, and set ablaze in the evening of Nov. 17. Hawaiʻi Fire Department received a call from guests scheduled to stay at the licensed Short Term Vacation Rental home at 99-2056 Pukeawe Circle. The first responder noted that all the windows were covered in white paint. When firefighters entered the home, they found that "most of the household furniture was found piled up and in flames." Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 8 p.m. They ventilated the home for smoke and combustable gases. Drywall, furniture, and other damage was estimated to be about $57,000. The HPD investigation identified Bardwell as the suspect.
Interior of the home in Volcano that vacationers reported
on fire when they arrived. Photo from Redfin
     Bardwell is being held on $10,000 bail pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday, Dec. 23 in Hilo District Court.    
     Police ask anyone who may have information about this incident to call the Police Department's non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Kelly Moniz at (808) 961-2378, or via email at

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KAʻŪ COUNCILWOMAN MAILE DAVID VOTED "NO" on county acceptance of up to $10 million from the state for Maunakea related costs, during the standoff over the Thirty Meter Telescope, as it entered its fifth month. The unanimous vote came on Wednesday, the day before Gov. David Ige announced the Thirty Meter Telescope would not be built "at this time." For those blockading the road to Maunakea in protest TMT, he set a Dec. 26 deadline to vacate their encampment.
     Hawaiʻi County Council heard public testimony from those opposed to the TMT project and council members changed their minds about accepting the money. At their previous Finance Committee meeting, they gave it a positive recommendation. The money required a Memorandum of Agreement between the state and the county.
     Councilmembers said they had not seen the proposed agreement when they voted to accept the money.
     Said David, "To me, the underlying issue is how we got here, and how we got here is not pono."
     One of the Kū Kiaʻi Mauna movement's organizers, Andre Perez, said, "I was dismayed to see many of you agree to vote to accept the money. You don't accept the money because there's principles, and there's protocols and there's right ways and wrong ways to do things. And in your case, it's codified very clearly in legal language."
     Councilwoman Karen Eoff said the language in the MOA does not match the language in the council resolution.
     Council chair Aaron Chung said, "I'm very much supportive of the TMT project, but more so, I'm supportive of the rule of law. If I saw some efforts in trying to open up the road, but not just the TMT people but others, then I might be more amenable to something like this. I just don't see anything happening. That being the case, I have to vote against this."
      Read more about the developments at Maunakea on yesterday's Kaʻū News Briefs.

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FUNDS FOR PUBLIC LAND, COMBATING HUNGER AND HOMELESSNESS, and more for Hawaiʻi are part of an eight-bill appropriations package passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday. With strong support from Sen. Mazie Hirono, the legislation passed 73 to 21, and would fund and renew "a range of domestic and international programs from the national Flood Insurance Program to energy production tax credits and health care programs," said a statement from Hirono's office.
     Said Hirono, "This bill provides necessary federal resources to support important programs in Hawaiʻi and the country. This bill also rejects the President's proposed draconian cuts to federal education, housing, health care, and clean energy programs that Hawaiʻi residents depend on every year."
     Specific items that Hirono focused on include:
     Micro-Grants for Food Security Program, $5 million. Hirono helped create this program in the 2018 Farm Bill, which would direct funds to nonprofit organizations in Hawaiʻi, Alaska, and outlying areas to increase the quality and quantity of locally grown food in food insecure communities.
     Land and Water Conservation Funding, $7.5 million. This would protect critical natural, historic, and cultural resources in Hawaiʻi at Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail and Haloa ʻĀina on Hawaiʻi Island.
     National and Regional Climate Adaption Science Centers funding, $38.335 million. Hirono led advocacy efforts in the Senate, states her office, "to reject the administration's proposed cuts to the Centers, which help natural and cultural resource managers identify and assess climate-related vulnerabilities." The University of Hawaiʻiat Mānoa hosts the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Adaptation Science Center.
     Funding to programs that support the Native Hawaiian community would include $36.897 million for the Native Hawaiian Education Program, $18.3 million for the Strengthening Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institution Program, $3.194 million for Education Grants for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, and $19 million for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Program.
     Interagency Council on Homelessness, an independent agency tasked with coordinating the federal response to addressing homelessness, would receive $3.8 million.
     The legislation would increase funding for programs that combat veteran homelessness, including $250 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs' Grant and Per-Diem program – which funds support service-intensive transitional housing – $380 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, and $408.3 million for the U.S. Department of Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.
     The East West Center, a research organization established by Congress at the UH-Mānoa, would receive $16.7 million.
     The legislation would increase in the Pell Grant Maximum Award to $6,195 per academic year. Hirono advocates expanding and increasing funds to the federal Pell Grant program, which provide need-based grants to undergraduate students.
     The legislation would also direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of importing orchids in growing media.
     A summary of the full appropriations package can be found here.

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A high wind warning is in effect for all islands until tomorrow at 6 p.m. 
NWS photo
A HIGH WIND WARNING is in place for Kaʻū and the entire state until 6 p.m. Saturday. The National Weather Service warns of east to northeast winds of 25 to 40 miles per hour, with gusts up to 60 mph through Saturday. NWS states "damaging winds, including downed trees and power lines" will likely cause "sporadic power outages… Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Winds are expected to be especially strong where they are accelerated over and downwind of mountain tops and ridges, through valleys and gaps in terrain, and down slope."
     Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense suggests motorists, especially those in high profile vehicles, drive with caution; and loose objects should be tied down, including outdoor holiday decorations, or moved to a sheltered location.

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MICHAEL REEP, 15, OF OCEAN VIEW, HAS BEEN FOUND IN GOOD HEALTH, according to a report from Hawaiʻi Island Police. Reep was reported missing in early October. He was located in Kaʻū on Monday, Dec. 9. A vigil was held  in Nāʻālehu to pray for the safe return of the missing teen on Nov. 2.

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Amahl (Anna Braun) and His Mother (Sherri Thal) share a moment.
Photo from KDEN
CHRISTMAS SEASON PLAY AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS comes to Kīlauea Theatre on beginning Friday, Dec. 27. through Sunday, Jan. 5, with performances on Friday and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and one matinee on Sunday, Dec. 5. Kīlauea Drama & Entertainment Network has prepared this musical treat, Gian Carlo Menotti's one-act opera. Commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951, it was broadcast live on television from as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America.
     Amahl, a crippled boy, and his mother live outside of Bethlehem. Amahl is known for telling tall tales, much to the exasperation of his mother.
     Late one night there is a knock at the door. It is the Three Kings looking for a place to rest their heads on the way to see the newborn child. The Kings are welcomed into the house and Amahl is sent to bring the neighbors and have them bring food as they have nothing to offer The Kings. The shepherds bring food and offer a dance as entertainment. The shepherds leave and The Kings, Amahl, and his Mother settle in for the night.
     Mother awakens and sees the gold that The Kings brought with them. She knows that the gold could solve her problems. As she tries to take a handful, the King's Page wakes and catches her in the act. Amahl tries to defend his mother. One of The Kings says that she can keep the gold as The Child won't need it to build his kingdom. Amahl tells The Kings that he would like to give his crutch. When he goes to give it to the Kings he can miraculously walk.
Amahl and his Mother are surprised by 
The Kings; Balthazar (Dick Hershberger), 
Melchior (Stephen Bond), and Kaspar 
(Joel Kelley). Photo from KDEN
      With permission from his mother, Amahl leaves with The Kings to see the Child and give his crutch in thanks for being healed.
     Sherri Thal will play the Mother and Anna Braun will play Amahl. The Three Kings are portrayed by Joel Kelley (Kaspar), Stephen Bond (Melchior), and Dick Hershberger (Balthazar). Karl Halemano is the Page. Arlene Araki, Mia Boyer, Al Braun, Deb Campbell, Susie Halemano, Sam Hall, and Ariana Kelley are the shepherds. The show is directed by Suzi Bond with vocal direction by Melanie Oldfather. Armando Mendoza will conduct the live orchestra. Murphy Bierman is stage managing and playing a shepherd. Set design is by Jonathan Sudler.
     Tickets are $15 general, $12 for seniors 60+ and students, and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Keaʻau Natural Foods, Basically Books, and The Most Irresistible Shop. Tickets are also available at the door. For more information, call 982-7344 or email Amahl and the Night Visitors is presented by arrangement with G.Schrimer, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.

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TROJANS JUNIOR VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL TOOK THE WIN during the season's first game. Kaʻū hosted Keaʻau on Wednesday, Dec. 18. The Trojans scored 48, over the Cougar's 39. Jensen Navarro-Villa scored the most points for Kaʻū, with 18. Ivan Ramos scored 16, Jociah Mukini scored 7, Jezekial Jara scored 4, Waiola Akiu scored 2, and Micah Espejo scored 1.
     The Cougars Varsity team took down the Trojans, 53 to 31. For Kaʻū, Dayson Burns scored 9 points, Michael Rodarte scored 6, Kyson Toriano and Elijah Evangelista each scored 5, and Raymond Polido-Kalili and Kealiikoa Reyes-Nalu each scored 3.

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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at
See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at

2019-2020 Kaʻū Winter Sports Schedule

Girls Basketball
Tue., Jan. 7 @Kohala
Fri., Jan. 10 host Honokaʻa

Boys Basketball
Sat., Dec. 21 @St. Joseph
Sat., Dec. 28 host Kohala
Fri., Jan. 3 host HPA
Sat., Jan. 4 host Pāhoa
Thu., Jan. 9 @Waiakea
Sat., Jan. 11, @Konawaena

Sat., Jan. 4 @Waiakea
Sat., Jan. 11 @Kealakehe

Sat., Dec. 21 Boys host Christian Liberty, 3pm
Mon., Dec. 23 Boys host Kohala, 3pm
Sat., Jan. 4 Girls host Honokaʻa, 3pm
Mon., Jan. 6 @HPA
Wed., Jan. 8 host Kealakehe, 2pm
Sat., Jan. 11 @Honokaʻa

Sat., Jan. 4 @Kamehameha
Sat., Jan. 11 @Kona Community Aquatic Center

Free Haircut Day, Saturday, Dec. 21, 9a.m.-1p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church. Kady and Drew Foster. 12 slots available. Also, Free Shower Day and The Big Island Giving Tree hand out clothes and items like razors and toothbrushes. 939-7000,

Nature & Culture, Saturday, Dec. 21, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate hike, approx. 2 miles.

Zentangle - Inspired Art Pop-Up Exhibit & Reception, Saturday, Dec. 21, 10a.m.Volcano Art Center. Meet the artists and discover art created using the Zentangle method. Bring friends, art, and a light pupu to share. Make and take home a Zentangle Inspired ornament. Door prizes. No registration required. 967-8222,

Ka‘ū Community Cleanup, Sunday, Dec. 22. Space available. BYO-4WD also welcome. R.S.V.P. in advance to 769-7629,, or

Palm Trail, Sunday, Dec. 22, 9:30-12:30p.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderately difficult hike - 2.6 mile loop.

Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment: Kapa Aloha ‘Āina, the fabric of Hawai‘i with Puakea Forester, Monday, Dec. 23, 11a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222,

H.O.V.E. Road Maintenance Corp. Board Mtg., Tuesday, Dec. 24, 10a.m., H.O.V.E. RMC office, 92-8979 Lehua Lane, Ocean View. 929-9910,

Kōnane, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 10a.m.-noonKīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Ancient Hawaiian game similar to checkers. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6101,

Christmas Buffet, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 5-8p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café, in HVNP. Main entrees of Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, and Holiday Lamb Stew. $29.95/adult, $16.95/child (ages 6-11). Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356,

Ka‘ū Food Basket, Thursday – last Thursday, monthly – Dec. 26, 11a.m.-noonPāhala Community Center. 928-3102

Kahuku Coffee Talk: Artist in the Park, Friday, Dec. 27, 9:30-11a.m., Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free.

Monthly Mele & Hula ‘Auana Performances, Friday, Dec. 27, 4-5:30p.m.Volcano Art Center. Weather permitting performance held outdoors. 967-8222,

Amahl & Night Visitors Show, Friday, Dec. 27-Jan. 3, 5-8p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Theater, in HVNP. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 982-7344,

Christmas in the Country featuring 20th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, daily, through Dec. 31, Volcano Art Center Gallery. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-7565,

Vote for the Best Cottage Decorations at Kīlauea Military Camp through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The public is invited to stroll along the sidewalks around the KMC Cottages where the staff has entered a contest for best Christmas decorations. The outdoor displays are best seen at night. KMC is located within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
     KMC hosts a Christmas Day dinner buffet, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Dec. 25 at Crater Rim Café. Main entrees of Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, and Holiday Lamb Stew. $29.95/adult, $16.95/child for ages 6-11, five and under free. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.
     The KMC New Year's Eve Party on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. at the Lava Lounge will have live music from Blue Tattoo. The $10 cover charge includes a champagne toast at midnight. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.
     Call 967-8356 or see

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League: Ocean View Team - Mondays and Wednesdays, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice. T-Ball, 3:30-4:30pm, ages 5-6. Coach Pitch, 4:30-6p.m., ages 7-8. Programs take place through April 16. Wear cleats or tennis shoes, bring a glove if possible. Extras gloves available for use. All skills and genders welcome. $35 per teammate. See Ka‘ū Youth Baseball on Facebook. Josh or Elizabeth Crook, 345-0511

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See or call 808-938-1088.

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